Category Archives: Suicide

What makes a man suicide? Rambling on traditional expectations and suicide.

This is a guest post from Moiret Allegiere.  He has a great deal to say about our plight as men in today’s insane misandrist world. You can find his blog here.

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What makes a man?

Is a man naught but muscles, tendons, organs and primal lust vibrating within a shell clumsily assembled to resemble a human being; an imitation of humanity manspreading viciously beneath a monochromatic sky, nervously anticipating his next oppressive conquest?

Is a man naught but an unfeeling automaton, completely and utterly devoid of basic human emotion, empathy and intimacy; a mass-manufactured cybernetic organism slowly gaining sentience and self-awareness and, in so doing, coming to realise his might, strength and ability to subjugate others to fulfil his own selfish needs?

Is a man naught but a replicant, an android created specifically to do the hard, uninspiring and menial labour society deems to be the low-status jobs; the hard and monotonous, the filthy, dirty, sweaty, dangerous professions filled only by those whom we – in our weird and dissociative state of being – consider to be of less importance, those whom we consider to be disposable, expendable, nameless, faceless, those who move the world?

Is a man naught but a nervous, trembling mass of violent impulses and barely contained rape; a sexually deviant beast, malformed, shapeless, barely cogent in his guttural ululations resembling language and emotive expressions consisting of mere primal urges; to fornicate, procreate, expand his territory, conquer his enemies and then exterminate them?

Is a man naught but a perpetual work-horse, the doer for others, a vibrant shade of history, of his story; to do for others, to sacrifice and to do for others, existing within the frame of mind of those for whom he is expected to sacrifice as nothing but the protector/provider, to be is to do, to do is to be, toodle-do… Does he then disregard his own state of being in order to be locked down in a state of doing so he is not disregarded by others as a being of less value from his lack of doing?

Is this state of being really and truly the state of privilege? Is the bogged down, simplified, dehumanizing view of a man as a human-doing, not a human-being an example of gender-privilege?

To put it in other terms: if a man is killed in war, does anyone hear him scream?

Even more bluntly: when a man is killed in this nonsensical gender-war, why won’t anyone hear him scream?

Why do we refuse to see the suffering of men and of boys in this shivering mass of tentacles and cosmic horrors we have allowed our societies to devolve into?

There is something to be said for traditionalism, apparently, as traditional values are still the expected state of being for a man: to sacrifice himself for the benefit of those around him, disregarding his own well-being, be that well-being psychological or physiological. In a very strict sense, I am not a traditionalist. The simple reason for this is that it chains both man and woman to pre-determined destinies, removing a degree of individual freedom which I would rather not see be removed. In a biological sense, however, it seems the traditional path is the path upon which we all tread, subconsciously, led by the hands of our very nature; our state of being, such that women and children must be protected to ensure the continuation of our species. And if that means the self-sacrifice of men, so be it. Or so the story goes. It does make sense, from a biological perspective. We are, however, in a state of being in which we are able to transcend the purely biological.

This state of being is very clearly reflected in the gender argumentation; the feminist assault on all things traditional whenever a traditional path involves women. Women shall be freed from the constraints of traditionalism. OK.

That I think, is more than fair.

I have no qualms with this.

I believe everyone should be free to follow their own path and do with their lives as they wish to do. And when I say everyone, I actually mean everyone – man and woman alike. And when I say do with their lives as they wish, I mean exactly that – as they wish. As long as no-one does anything against anyone against their wishes, I don’t care what people do with their lives. Tread whichever path you wish. Just remember that your rights end where the rights of someone else begins. In simple terms.

This, of course, does not mean that I will not judge people on their actions. Nor does it mean that I will not comment on these actions. It means, quite simply, that I see absolutely no reason why I should force someone to live a certain way, whether I agree with a certain way of life or not.

When the feminist hive-mind of ravenous virtue and vulturous morality raise their screeching voices in opposition to traditionalism, and howl dementedly at the moon-goddess Luna about freedom from gender-roles, they speak only in regards to women. This would all have been fine and dandy, were it not for the fact that they propose to speak on behalf of both man and woman, that the groin-grabbing metal-claw that is their hands have firmly clasped the scrotum of our distorted discord in regards to gender.

When the clearly female-centric ideology of feminism, whose legacy has granted us such vitriolic hatred and contempt for all things masculine as to be completely dismissed when speaking on behalf of men and boys, proposes to speak on behalf of men and boys, we ought to be worried and we ought to protest this. This is one of those things that are truly worrisome and frightening, and one of the main reasons I have launched my own war against feminism: an ideology orbiting one gender is the only voice heard, or allowed to speak, on behalf of both genders. And this is absolutely nonsensical. However, it ties firmly and neatly into all things traditional. Women must be protected and must be granted any-and-all, if we are to carry this human DNA into the future of mutual delusion that seems to be the path we have chosen. And men and boys must be sacrificed, or be called to, forced to, made to sacrifice themselves on behalf of women and children. And here come the he for she, once again, a speech lauded as revolutionary and fantastic, as something profound and something clever whilst being absolutely nothing but a rehashing of what we have already been doing all through the murky haze of our shared collective history. He for she.

Him go hunt big mammoth, him protect mate. Him make sure harm not come to young. Him bring meat and warm skin of mammoth. Him protect, him provide.

Of course, traditionalism was based around a sense of mutual respect, cooperation and – dare I even say – love, with both parts of a relationship doing for the other part, and in turn for the rest of the family unit. All doing their part. Or, that is my understanding of it. I was born far too late to see traditionalism in full fucking swing. I was born into the era of feminism, within whose auditorium I was told relentlessly and repetitiously about my own wickedness and the sins of my father and my fathers father and my fathers fathers father, for whose sins I must pay with my self-respect, my well-being and my blood, if need be. And in front of the shining and shimmering altar of feminist revisionist history, beneath her fragile goddess-form, I was made to kneel and told to do all I could for whichever woman was unlucky enough to cross my path; whose mere countenance I was lucky to behold and whose footprints and whispering voice should be the be-all, end-all of my life. He for she.

And here come the traditional expectations thrown at men; shackled and chained still in the good old gender-roles which feminism purports to have broken down, disassembled and done away with. To do for women. To do and not to be. To prove himself worthy by virtue of his ability to protect and to provide for her, for the family, for the union of their loins and sweaty groins, or merely for the hope of the unity of their loins and sweaty groins. And all this whilst proclaiming freedom from pre-determined roles for one and all, arguing past oppression as a means to justify the fervent, violent, never-ending assault on all things masculine. Justifying and popularizing hatred and subsequent subjugation of one gender and one gender only through a wilfully hazy recollection of things past.

And just as the future ain’t what it used to be once we grow up and become more cynical and less hopeful, the past ain’t what it used to be once we grow intellectually and are able to critically analyse history and data both, to see that the mirage offered us by feminist historians and pedagogues mirror not history, but wish-tory, a wishy-washy way of pointing to this or to that in order to show how horribly women were treated in ages past; chained to the kitchen and to the home while the men were free to cavort joyously in the wild and gigantic jungles of societies past, swinging from the branches of the trees drunk on their own power with no obligations, no chains and no shackles and no worries, free as free could be in the horrid morning of our modern civilization, prior to the feminist utopia we now see spread-eagled before us on the dusty ground.

If by “free” you mean 14+ hours a day in the coal-mines for incredibly little pay. If by free you mean obligated to provide and to protect for someone who was of far more social worth; of so much worth, in fact, that they could not possibly be expected to sacrifice those hours, days, weeks, months, years of their life and of their safety in dank and horrid caverns, gaining nothing but a barely liveable wage and black lungs from inhaling coal all day, every day, all week, every week.

Strange, that the past is viewed as though it mirrors the present, even when not the case. Childbirth was far more dangerous in those horrible days of yore. For both mother and child. Survival was not guaranteed. Medicine was not what it is today. Our modern miracles of medicine have not always been there, you know. Surely, it makes sense then, in order to keep the woman and the child safe, that they should be at home? That the man should take care of the risky business of making a living – making a living for all, I would add. Life was harder. Things were tougher. One can not look at the past with the lenses of today, claiming that it is like this now, so it was like that then. Things change, times change, progress is made and things do not stay the same, and things have not stayed the same. Sacrifices had to be made, by one and by all. Note, please, that I do not in any way intend to downplay the role of the mother, the wife, the woman in this scenario. Things were surely tough and hard for all. I am simply trying to offer perspective. The past was not hard for women. It was hard for everyone, except the few who wielded power. Yeah, most of those with power were male. This does not mean that men had power. Nor does it mean that now. It does not mean that men in power would benefit men and men only. Nor does it mean that now. That would be the apex-fallacy, gracious xister, wondrous xir. The one percent at the top being this or that does not reflect the 99 percent not at the top, who happen to be this or that.

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Which brings me to the beginning. What makes a man? Or, to the strangely convoluted point of this ramble: what makes a man suicide? As we can see from the statistics, men are far more at risk of suicide than women. This goes for the entirety of the world, with very few exceptions: ( http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-statistics.html )

This is very clearly a subject with no easy answer, and it is a subject I am somewhat reluctant to tackle. There are many factors and variables at play, and for personal reasons it is a subject which is very near and dear to my heart and gut and balls. It is difficult to write about, because it is a difficult subject.

Speaking from my own personal experience as a thirty-something male, I can not remember one single instance from any school I attended where I heard anything positive and uplifting said in regards to boys and men. Quite the contrary: the focus was always and ever on lifting girls and women up and above, often at the detriment of boys and men. I mention this frequently in my writings, as I consider it to be very important. I don’t think there is anything wrong with lifting girls and women up. Of course there isn’t. There is something wrong with lifting girls and women – and only girls and women – up. Giving positive messages to one gender and one gender only for perceived equality is quite obviously contrary to equality. It is treating one better than the other. And this is happening at schools all the time, across the entire fucking western world.

Not one instance of boys being lifted up and told that they could do whatever they wanted to, be whatever they aspired to be. It was always, from teachers as well as pupils, Girls rule, boys drool. Overt or covert, it did not matter.

Our teachers, infused with feminism and the high-and-mighty flap-jackery of moral virtue, dignity and compassion granted them by the feminine divine, saw no qualms in telling boys that they were the root cause of the evils of the world, as well as telling them – driving the point home with pin-point accuracy as often as possible – that their emotional maturation was far slower than the girls, and as such that the girls were far more mature than the boys. Our very nature was, through this, made out to be wrong, to be of lesser worth and of lesser maturity than the nature of girls. At the same time, we were told that gender was a social construct. Odd then, that emotional maturation in itself was something to be trusted, given the social constructionist bull-shittery of the thing. This of course translated into a covertly – or overtly – hostile environment for the boys.

No mind, never matter, this ain’t no thing, as armies of indoctrinated feminists spouted feminist dogma in their early teens, completely incapable of understanding it or viewing it with any form of critical eye but the severe moral grandstanding of “we – the girls – are oppressed by you – the boys. You owe us.” And there come the entitlement from noxious drones fighting the good cause; a cause into which they had been brainwashed from early days at school, indoctrinated into severe entitlement translating into a distrust and putting-down-off boys, whose lives and value to themselves through the very same indoctrination mattered less and became less than that of the girls; whose aspirations in life mattered little and whose ability to reach, as it were, for the stars had to be put aside and trodden into the ground so that the girls should be lifted up, at the expense of the boys. Boys whom, it must also be mentioned, were diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and put on brain-altering and highly addictive chemicals for the crime of being a boisterous boy trapped in an environment not tailored nor suited to him.

Is there any wonder, then, that suicide is such a big killer of young men? There has never been – in my lifetime – any focus on lifting up boys, on making boys feel good about themselves. Quite the contrary. Boys have been told to make amends for years of so-called oppression carried out by their forefathers. Boys have been told that they are rapists-in-waiting, that any sexual desire they may feel should be a source of shame, that their sexuality is simplistic and primitive.

And this from schools, whose teachers are supposed to be the ones from whom facts and truths about the world shall be made clear. It translates into confusion. Chivalry. Confusion. Girls and boys are of equal worth, we are told. So why shall boys and men sacrifice for the well-being and the up-lifting of girls and women at the expense of themselves? Why shall we then not expect the same standards, the same responsibilities for one self from girls as we do for boys? Shall not girls and boys cooperate? Shall not women and men cooperate? Giving and receiving in equal measures, being told the same so as to lift both up? In this age of equality, why is it only the lives, well-being, future, of girls that matter, and why must the boys be thrown to the wolves?

Revenge.

Revenge and retribution for perceived prior oppression.

Revenge.

Reparations paid by a generation of boys and young men who have done nothing wrong but be born with a set of cock and balls on their battle banner in this manufactured gender war, manufactured by ideologues whose gripe with the world at large translates into psychosis – a dissociative state from whose point of view all is translucent, fleeting and nonsensical, with no values but the emotional knee-jerk reaction of offence taken for the sake of taking offence.

And growing further from this den of indoctrination, young girls grow up to be young women, and still being told the same thing – girls rule the world. You can do anything, you can be anything, boys drool, girls rule. And young boys grow up to be young men, still hearing the same – girls rule, girls can be all, boys and men must help girls and women.

And no-one must help boys and men, not even themselves.

Boys and men are driven into a life of servitude – driven into the same traditional gender-roles which the feminist hive-mind claim to have eradicated. Now, they may claim that they have eradicated it for men as well. But this is simply not true. And this is made evident in the words and actions of feminists themselves, who still demand men do for them, sacrifice for them, giving them their all whilst having no right to demand anything in return. In our secular societies, for lack of God, we have given the position of deity to the exalted state of womanhood – to give to her, to do for her, to make for her, to pray to her so that she may absolve us of our sins and so that we may become – to her eyes and mind and ears and claws – redeemed, cleansed and worthy of the heavenly bliss that is her companionship.

Through this lens of equality, boys and men are told that their path towards healing is wrong. That we need to open up and talk about our feelings, instead of repressing them. As if the feminine path to healing wherein emotions are discussed is the one and only path towards healing. Men, in general terms, are drawn towards action as a means of healing. Or, failing that, solitude. To mull things over on their own. Whereas women are drawn to social circles, seeking comfort in friends and in family. There is nothing wrong with this. The issue comes when boys and men are told to heal in a manner contrary to their nature, as if their very nature and their natural path towards healing is wrong. As if we only act a certain way, not that we are a certain way. The mere notion that men only act manly is insulting in and off itself. Try telling a woman to stop acting like a woman all the time, and see what results you get. It wouldn’t be accepted. But boys and men are supposed to accept it; the narrative of toxic masculinity being what kills men. As a boy becomes a man, the first thing he realizes, if he listens to this gobsmacking advice, is that there is no-one there willing to listen to his problems. He might open up as much as he may; the best he can get is half-interested nods and blinks. The worst he can get is being told he suffers from fragile masculinity, which is odd considering his apparent toxic masculinity is what causes him to not talk about his issues. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Laying down, as the ground-rules for discourse, that the very nature of men is faulty does contribute, in my view, to the suicide rates in no small way.

Keep in mind that I am writing on feminism, not women. That, although feminism wishes it to be so, feminism does not equal women. And women does not equal feminism. Feminism has become, for all intents and purposes, a religion. It is a cult. It is a dogmatic victim-cult, hell-bent on revenge, fuelled by its own mythology, maintaining a canon of saints and prophets whose words and deeds shall not be taken in vain, or be set upon by arguments. Feminism has become untouchable. And dangerous. And its reach is such that it has infiltrated everything; the medieval catholic church packaged anew. No-one expects the feminist inquisition! Yet, one and all should expect the feminist inquisition, as they come rampaging and roaring and screeching your way the moment you voice opposition to their dogma and their orthodoxy.

Young boys shown feminism as the true path towards equality between the genders from an early age are sure to believe it. Even when experiencing, time and again, that it does not view the genders as equal. Even when experiencing, time and again, that the dogmatic victim-cult treats the genders quite the opposite of equally. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Through indoctrination and through brainwashing, their belief, as well as the belief of the girls, in feminism and feminism only is ground into them from an early age. And experiencing the forked serpentine tongue of feminism upon their soul and their bodies may only breed cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, they are told that we are all equal and that we are all treated equally. On the other, they are shown through actions and words that they are not. And being told, time and again, of the errors of their ways by their very nature, through no fault of their own, confusion breeds within. Confusion and inner turmoil.

Men are overrepresented in all the negative statistics – victims of violence, drug and substance abuse, homelessness, suicide, joblessness, hopelessness, despair and grimness, lower age expectancy and dying more often at work. And what are we doing about this? We are focusing solely on girls and on women, and are told when trying to bring up these facts, that it is not a gendered issue and so we must not view this through the lens of gender. The gendered lens is brought out solely when girls and women are perceived as, or can be made out to be, the sole or main victims of some societal ill or other. Then – and only then – will it be perceived as a gendered issue. But when boys and men fall victim to the horrors of societal ills, it does not need to be treated as a gendered issue. Incredibly strange, is it not? It is a gendered issue whenever women can be made out to be the most affected. It is not a gendered issue whenever men can be made out to be the most affected.

It is the grim sensation of hopelessness settling in our chests and in our stomachs. A grim spectre of purposelessness and a loss of direction. Boys and men are not needed, we are told from a tender age. Because we need to lift the girls and the women up and above. The point is driven home, time and again, through mass-media mass-manufacturing the same vile hatred of boys, men and masculinity due to the mass-media now being infected with the girls and women who grew up with these tall tales of feminism being served them on a silver-platter all through their education, teaching them that they are above reproach and that boys and men are below them and owe them their lives and their servitude. And it has such a stranglehold on our societies that speaking about it like I do gets me labelled a misogynist.

Me, the foul misogynist, wanting the genders to be treated equally and given equal rights under law. Sounds like a horrid hater of women, no? Me, the foul misogynist, wishing for cooperation and balance to the discourse on gender. Imagine what paths we have been made to tread to make it so. Imagine how crooked these paths are, and with so many forks in the road being made necessary in order to justify labelling someone wanting equal treatment of the sexes as a hater of one sex and one sex only.

These talking points that feminism is only about equality, that it is not about hating men, need to be taken away. For they are simply not true. At the rotten heart of feminism lie the blatant hatred of men and of masculinity itself. Which is why I constantly bring up feminism. To get to the root of the rot within our societies, we need to examine feminism. And then we need to dismantle it, remove it from its positions of leadership and get this ridiculous neural imprint of ours that it is only about equality stripped away. To heal the hurt of our societies, we need to remove the rot. And we must bring balance to the discourse. Equal treatment of the genders is not a topic to be discussed by one voice and one voice only. In particular when that one voice has as its sole focus one gender and one gender only. How incredibly authoritarian, how fantastically totalitarian, how astonishingly arrogant, must one be to imagine to be the only set of ideas worth anything, and thus the only voice allowed to speak on behalf of gender? Feminism proves time and again that it knows jack shit about men. So why in the snoot-fuck should we allow them to speak on behalf of men? It is ridiculous, preposterous and ideological. And that is all it is.

I am frightfully aware of the fact that my writings tend to be bleak and hopeless, offering little in the way of solution; perhaps only offering some cathartic release. This is, more like than not, a product of my own bleak hopelessness and despair in regards to how the winds of our societies are blowing.

This despair and hopelessness goes contrary to what I actually wish to achieve with these writings.

I have no intention of staying lost in a pit of hopelessness and despair.

I have no wish to stay trapped within a cage of anger and rage either.

And I do not wish this for others.

The fact of the matter, though, and the pure realistic view of things makes it very easy to justify both feelings of hopelessness and of anger. And detaching from justified anger is as difficult as detaching from hopelessness when once it has settled within oneself.

This hopelessness leads to bleak outlooks, leads to checking out and not returning. And that is not good. Unless one turns it around. Turning ones back on society and becoming the archetypal rebel-character, living by his own rules, may well be a strength within itself; a fantastic picture of self-reliance and individual strength as much as it may be a picture of someone who society has cast aside. Own your self and own your shit.

The message sent to girls and women is a message that should also be sent to boys and to men; that they are strong and able and that one should aspire to live to the best of ones abilities. So why not send it to boys and men as well?

The sensation of hopelessness, the loss of direction, the loss of a sense of purpose and a sense of self all ties into, I think, the view of men as doers of things; as being what we do and defining ourselves from what we do, instead of what we are. Men as utilities, as disposable servants for the greater good (Cue Hot Fuzz – “the Greater Good”) of society. This is an archaic notion of men upheld as much by traditional values as by feminist dogma demanding men do for women – by which they mean, of course, feminism – even when claiming they don’t need no man. Again, I am reminded of He for She, which I think is one of the most insulting speeches I have ever heard. It is the view of men as protectors and providers, of caretakers and chivalrous knights saving the poor maiden wrapped up neatly and nicely in a new package; painting women as helpless victims and objects acted upon by evil men and in need of being saved by good men, even if the view is that all men are wicked and false at heart. Men are being told that we are not needed, by and large, whilst still being expected to rush to the aid of damsels in distress. We are not needed. Except when called upon to help women.

What we need to do is to consider ourselves as human beings first and foremost. To get to know our self. To define ourselves from what and who we are, not from what we do. To consider ourselves as our selves first, and what we do second, so that our humanity comes before our utility. In so doing, the need we feel to prove our usefulness comes second to the strength we have in our sense of self, our belief in our own strength and value as a human being. This, I think, will lessen the stranglehold of feminism in no small way, as there will be no men rushing to the forefront of the gender-war to prove themselves useful and thereby valuable. Because we have already become aware of our selves; we will already know that we have value in and off ourselves. Through this way of thinking, I think, it will all begin and it will all end – beginning with a whisper in the depths of the manosphere, and, given time, ending in a cacophony of vibrant, fantastic, rapturous and celebratory laughter vibrating fantastically throughout our societies.

 

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Moiret Allegiere is a concerned man who has had enough, and finally started expressing his views on mens issues and the state of the world.  His blog can be found here.

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Top Menaregood Videos!

I put together a new playlist on the menaregood youtube channel.  Many have asked me what videos were the best for men’s issues.  I have made over a hundred vids so I handpicked 18 of what I considered the top menaregood videos. Here they are!  You can also use this link to go to youtube and see all 18 in the right hand sidebar and click through them.

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New Men’s Issues Video

I have opened a Patreon page and would love to have you join in.  Plenty of free content and for as little as $2 a month you get access to a 14 video series on men and healing that was a part of an international class five years ago.  Learn about how Eric Clapton, Michael Jordan and many other men healed from very difficult losses.  You can find it here:  http://patreon.com/menaregood

This video was created 10 years ago and originally was in 4:3 format and fairly low resolution.  I have now brought it up to 16:9 and increased the resolution as much as possible while still keeping the original footage and audio.  I have also added an Epilogue on the end that takes a brief look at the carnage left since this video was created.

If you are interested in donating to the cause of more content on men’s issues here is a way to do it!  Thanks!


 

 

 

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Gynocentrism 2.0, Compassion, and Choice: The Underlying and Hidden Root of Men’s Issues

 

I have long held that compassion and choice are two issues that play a part in nearly every men’s issue. But why? What do compassion and choice have to do with male suicide or male victims of domestic violence or just about any other men’s issue? Quite a bit actually. Let’s take a look at why compassion and choice are limited for men and then see how compassion and choice are essential ingredients to the issues.

fireman-100722_640The origins of the lack of compassion and
choice for men is gynocentrism. When you start to understand gynocentrism you will start to better understand the plight of men and boys. Gynocentrism at its most basic, is the mandate that women and children be kept safe and provided for at the expense of men. In other words, men are designated to insure the safety and provisions for women and children on an individual level, the family level, community level and on a macro level. This is not a totally bad thing. It has been what has created and maintained many cultures for millennia. As Stefan Molyneux says, “Eggs are scarce and sperm is plentiful.” This means we have needed to sacrifice our sperm in order to insure the safety of our eggs. Without women the culture dies a quick death. Women must be protected. Gynocentrism protects those who carry the eggs and does this at the expense of its men. This has been a very important element to our cultural success but it does come at a price.

One consequence of protecting the women is that the men will need to at times face danger. The women need to be kept safe and the men will protect the boundary and sometimes die in that process. Our human history of gynocentrism is longer and deeper than most assume. We think of the hunter gatherers as serene and bucolic but that was sometimes far from the truth and gynocentrism predominated.  Research shows that some South American hunter gatherer groups faced huge numbers of deaths of their men protecting the women and children1. One group averaged the death of nearly 60% of its males in protecting the women from inter tribal attacks that were among other things, designed to steal the other group’s women! (the average for the groups studied was near 30% male deaths as a result of raids, ambush or larger scale conflicts) He who had the most women wins and these groups made a huge sacrifice of their males to insure they kept their women and children safe.

In its most obvious we can see how gynocentrism plays out when we note that men automatically and without question are the ones facing danger in our culture. Our war dead are nearly 100% male. Our deaths in dangerous occupations are 93% men. Our trashmen and sewage workers are nearly all male. The dirtiest and most dangerous jobs are jobs for men. No one questions this. It just seems right. This is the hidden power of gynocentrism. No one questions and no one notices. Hell, if women actually got equality to the above it would be a huge step down for them.

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But gynocentrism runs much deeper than simply being about protecting the borders and doing the dangerous work. It has its tendrils into just about everything, silently and without fanfare. What happens when a woman has a flat tire? How many people have seen the help she will usually garner from men? Now think about what happens if a man has a flat tire. Does he get a similar treatment? Probably not. This is gynocentrism. When there are problems we jump to help women but expect the men to handle it themselves even in today’s atmosphere of “equality”.

What happens when a woman is upset and falls into a sea of tears? Pretty much the same thing as the flat tire. People hover to offer support and see what might be wrong and what they can do. But what happens when men fall into a similar sea? People ignore him and avoid him. It is almost as if a woman’s pain is a call to action while a man’s pain is taboo. Compassion offered to men is a fraction of the compassion offered to women.

There are a number of youtube videos that employ actors to portray men beating women in public. The women are shown to get immediate support and help from male onlookers who see the violence. They quickly jump to her aid not knowing it is an arranged scene. These same videos then reverse the roles and show the women beating men in a similar manner and no one lifts a finger, in fact, they laugh. This is gynocentrism. We expect to help the women and expect the men to help themselves. Note also that we allow women to be dependent but do not allow the same for men.

On an even simpler level think of a man and a woman at work who need to move some boxes from one location to another. Some are heavy, some are light. Who will be moving the heavy ones? It is a foregone conclusion that the man will most often move the largest boxes and will protect her from having to do hard labor. This is gynocentrism.

And then there is the question of attractiveness. When a woman is attractive she gets special perks simply due to her appearance. No man can come close to having a similar response. This is gynocentrism. The eggs are protected and the attractive eggs get very special treatment.

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Think of that attractive woman being tied to the railroad tracks. What does that do to the hearts and minds of most people? Most of us have an inborn reaction that says DO SOMETHING to help her. But what about a man tied to the tracks? Is your reaction the same or different? Yes, you likely want to see him helped but is it the same gut wrenching sensation? The plots of many movies and novels are fueled by this gynocentric scenario. We all want the woman tied to the tracks safely released even if it means the death of numerous men in the process. A woman’s needs are a call to action while a man’s needs are often just ignored. He needs to save her!

Just think for a minute what would happen to a man in the military who started complaining that we needed to have more female war deaths in order to make things equal for everyone. How would he be received?   All hell would break loose at this questioning of the gynocentric norm and disregard for the safety of women. We see something similar when the opposite happens and men voice their desires for equal opportunities for services for men in things like domestic violence. Those who stand up for the needs of men in our gynocentric culture are seen as misogynistic, that is, they are routinely accused of hating women simply for pointing out the needs of men. Can you see how the fuel for this is gynocentrism?

 

military-662872_1280Another example of extreme gynocentrism is boot camp in the army. What is done? The recruit is taught that he is nothing. He is now not an individual, he is a part of a fighting group. His personal identity is deleted and he is taught to fight for the group, for a cause. He no longer exists. There is no compassion for his personal feelings and needs. Those are a distant second. He also has zero choice. He does what he is told. That is the extreme gynocentric model that plays out to one degree or another in our everyday life.

Do we care about the feelings of the woman tied to the tracks? Oh yes. Do we care about the feelings of the hero who rescues her? No. We care about his actions. His emotions are not important unless his feelings are about HER. Do we care about the emotions of the boot camp recruit? Nope. We care about his actions and what he does. His feelings need to be kept to himself.   In the same way, under the gynocentric default we tend to care about the emotions of women but will be averse to the emotions of men. Our interest moves more towards his actions. Think about the last time you saw a woman cry in public. What was your reaction? Most of us want to help, want to offer support. We are drawn to her neediness. Now think about a man crying under the same circumstances you saw the woman. Are you as open to his tears as the woman? Most of us say no, we are not. We are repulsed by his neediness. The man is not expected to be needy, he is expected to have agency. If he is seen as needy he is judged harshly.  This is gynocentrism.

family-anno-1317978_1280These sorts of advantages for women have been going on for many years. In the 19th century men would strive to do the best job of keeping women safe and provided for. Just read their diaries and the diaries of their wives. These men put women on a pedestal. They thought of them as angelic and would try their best to not have them sully themselves with the grime of daily life outside the home. They worked hard to have them stay away from “dirty”things like the workplace or money. They did this because they saw women as worthy of protection (gynocentrism) and were happy to take on the extra burden in order to keep her safe. Then along comes feminism which makes the incredibly noxious and inaccurate claim that women were not held in high esteem at all, they were being oppressed. They took the protections that women had benefited from for centuries and spun them into being oppression. In my opinion this is the biggest lie of the 20th century and it has left a wake of chaos and vitriol. Women now actually believe themselves to be victims and that they have been shortchanged and oppressed.   These are the same women who didn’t have to go to war, didn’t have to do the dirty work of building or maintaining the culture, were  held in high esteem and basically worshiped (as American as Mom and Apple Pie) now see this as oppression. Houdini could not have done a more impressive magic trick.

So what do you think happened? It could be easily predicted that gynocentrsim would insure that when women appear to be in danger or need that men will jump and meet those needs as best they can. That’s the way both men and women are  programmed. And that is just what happened. The feminists claimed to be tied to the tracks and rode, and continue to ride the gynocentric wave of men keeping women safe. Their unfounded claims that women were oppressed and held back have been taken seriously by well meaning highly gynocentric males, including male legislators. These claims of women being tied to the tracks and needing government intervention were welcomed by our gynocentric legislators who wanted to bend over backwards to help women. Over the years women have been given more and more while simultaneously continuing to enjoy the same gynocentric advantages they have been getting for hundreds of years. Our legislators have backed themselves into a corner and are now afraid to say no. They know that they have been hijacked but don’t have the courage to say no to saving a damsel in distress. Saying no would insure a loss in the next election.

This was the beginning of what I like to call Gynocentrism 2.0.  The cultural imperative of caring for women continues and is now amplified by false claims of women having been oppressed.  Simultaneously Gynocentrism 2.0 showed not only increased focus on the needs and desires of women, it also made a dramatic switch.  Men in gynocentrism 1.0 were held in high esteem when they followed through with their role.  They were both respected and admired and this was fuel for the masculine. Both sexes were held in high esteem.  Now that fuel for men has run out as the admiration and respect has been gaudily replaced with disdain and blame. Incredibly, now men are seen as the problem and held accountable for social problems as if they were the cause.  It is all the men’s fault.  Much is said about men not doing very well these days but very few people note this important shift.  When you don’t put fuel in the engine it ain’t goin too far.

In Gynocentrism 2.0 entire bureaucracies are built to serve women and cater to their difficulties but there are rarely any such bureaucracies built for men. The women are left with a choice of whether to seek help at a government funded facility (payed for with mostly male tax dollars) built for them while the men are left with no choices.

 

stopviolenceagainstwomen2One of the best examples of this is the issue of domestic violence where we have known for decades that men are a sizable portion (likely nearing 50%) of the victims of domestic violence but all of the laws and services are built for women. We spend nearly a billion dollars a year for the Violence Against WOMEN Act (VAWA) that marginalizes the 50% of male victims. Recent research exposed the sad fact that when men who are the victims of domestic violence go to these government funded services for help they are treated very poorly. Often when the men are victims of domestic violence and they turn to the government funded services they are told that they are not victims of domestic violence, they are accused of being the perpetrators! They then send him to treatment for perpetrators! Researchers are calling this “third party abuse”, when the government bureaucracy as a third party, participates in the continued abuse of a victim. This is gynocentrism 2.0 which leaves no compassion for men and far fewer choices in seeking help.

I was involved in lobbying for male victims of domestic violence during the reauthorization of the VAWA in both 2005 and 2012. Our group was well received by then Senator Biden. He and his staff listened to our data and stories about male victims in several meetings at his Senate office. He assured us we would be a part of the hearings. When the hearing came not one of our group was allowed to speak. I couldn’t believe it. Biden was totally aware of the problem of male victims and intentionally sabotaged our efforts to find support for men. It was then that I realized how deeply our system is biased and non-functional. Gynocentrism 2.0.

It’s important to point out that our government has been pushing a gynocentric agenda for some time.  In the 1960’s President Johnson set in motion the “War on Poverty” which proceeded to demand the removal of black fathers from their families in order for mom to get welfare.  Now our family courts are doing something similar as they remove fathers from the home through no fault on the fathers part.  The woman’s needs come first, father’s a distant second.

My state of Maryland created a Commission for Men’s Health a number of years ago. I was fortunate to serve as the vice chair of that commission and wrote three of the four reports that were to be sent to the governor. The reports I wrote were what I call “male friendly.” That is, they voiced and considered the needs of men without bowing to the prevailing political correctness. The chairman of the commission wrote the other report which was a bit more what the Health Department, our host agency, was anticipating. All four reports were unanimously approved by the full commission. When the commission’s work was done and it came time to file the reports to the governor and a host of other Maryland politicians and get them into the Maryland State Library the Health Department only filed the report that was written by the Chairman. They were confronted with this and said, “ooops, we will file it now.” But they didn’t. It took a year to track down the files and finally get them into the Maryland system. The full story of this event will be told in a chapter in Janice Fiamengo’s upcoming book. It couldn’t be more clear that when the needs of men were given voice, the status quo balked.  It seems that our mid level bureaucrcrats are filled with gynocentrism 2.0.

I think you can see now how women’s complaints and our legislators zealous rush to help them have turned things topsy turvy. Rape shield laws have been written to protect the rape victims and this is a good thing. But those same laws failed to protect the accused man. His name can be released to the media prior to any conviction. Her name is permanently protected while his name is plastered all over the media and he has his life ruined simply due to an accusation which may or may not be proven false .   Gynocentrism 2.0.

 

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Another example is the issue of suicide where males are 80% of all completed suicides. (Chart above: rates are per 100,000 population from CDC WISQARS system.) Incredibly this 80% fact is rarely mentioned in the media leaving most people unaware that the biggest risk factor in suicide is being male.  It is not surprising that females get the majority of attention around suicide both clinically and in research. This even though men are the vast majority of those needing help. In 2009 the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) did some research on suicide. I was shocked to see it was a study on girls! I wrote to then NASW Director Elizabeth Clark and asked why the research focused on girls when it was men and boys who were the vast majority of suicides. She wrote me back and said that the funder for the research had specified to only study girls.   Just imagine for a moment someone who funded research for Sickle Cell Disease but stipulated the research had to be on whites. Can you imagine the outrage? Blacks are 60-80% of those with Sickle Cell disease and to study only whites would be seen as totally racist but somehow studying only girls and suicide is okay. That is gynocentrism.

Our gynocentric legislators have outlawed any form of genital mutilation of females but have failed to do the same for our baby boys. Boys routinely undergo a surgical removal of part of their penis without anesthesia. Of course the baby boys scream during and after this mutilation. Some nurses say they have seen baby boys scream for days after. Many are thinking today that this trauma creates PTSD for those males who have been circumcised and presently about four out of every 5 males in the United States has suffered this mutilation. Research is showing that psychological impact of circumcision on boys is similar to the psychological impact for girls who have undergone genital mutilation. This procedure is damaging our boys while most people think it is a simple little snip. Wrong. We care about our little girls but fail in mustering enough compassion for boys to shelter them from such barbaric treatment and we give them no choice. Gynocentrism.

In healthcare we have seen our legislators create seven national commissions for women’s health but none for men. We have official government web sites for womenshealth.gov and girlshealth.gov but just look at what happens when you go to menshealth.gov or boyshealth.gov. Nothing.   You find a 404 page not found error. It does not exist. Get the picture? focusWhen anyone starts looking critically at our world it becomes clear that gynocentrism is at its core. We constantly hear criticism of men not going to the doctor, etc, but look at the lack of concern for men’s health.  Yes, we have seven commissions for women’s health, but none for men.  The one bill to create a national men’s health commission has been languishing in congress for over 20 years, with too few sponsors and a general lack of interest.  You see this same lack of interest in not even creating a web site for men or boys.  Women in need get the help, and men just need to take care of themselves while simultaneously being blamed for their plight.   And no one is even aware this is going on.  Gynocentrism.

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Warren Farrell put together a group of clinicians, academics, researchers, authors and other experts on men and boys who wrote a proposal for a White House Council on Boys and Men. I was happy to be included as  one of those who put the proposal together. President Obama had created a council for women and girls as soon as he got into office. Now he was being asked to do the same for boys and men. One of our group members, a man named Willie Isles was an executive with the Boy Scouts and had a meeting scheduled with the President. The plan was for Willie to have two Boy Scouts introduce the idea of the White House Council on Boys and Men to the President. Just before that meeting was to take place the discussion of a council for boys and men was struck from the agenda. It was forbidden to even be discussed. Gynocentrism anyone?

There is an anti-male bias in mental health research. One study on teen relationship violence found that boys and girls are suffering from this problem at similar rate. But once the research is translated into news articles it only focuses on the hardships the girls face. Worse yet, once the study is translated by legislators into an action plan to help the teen violence problem the only ones offered assistance are the girls while the boys are blamed. Yes, boys are abused but they simply don’t get compassion. Gynocentrism

 

research-tableIn one study about childhood rape the researchers found that boys were more often the victims of actual childhood rapes than the girls. Then in writing up their research failed to specifically include this information about boys as victims of rape. Furthermore, when they went to the media they also failed to mention the fact that they have found that boys were raped more often than girls. Gynocentrism.

Title IX — Has been a great help to girls and athletics but has dismantled over 1000 men’s college teams. We focus on helping women but ignore the pain of men.

We have all heard of the racial sentencing bias where blacks tend to get stiffer sentences than whites for the same crime. But the research is telling us that there is a bias that is six times as large as the racial bias that sentences men to longer sentences than women. Yet, we hear nothing of this in the media and no one seems to care. Clearly the judges have less compassion for men and offer them far less choice.

I have seen a number of men in therapy who came to me when their wives wanted an abortion and they (the men) wanted to keep the child. The men were powerless to do anything. Can you see how these men had no choice in the matter? His wife said, “My body, my choice” and he said “My child, your choice, I have none.” He had no choice and if he had said something I feel sure he would have heard some variation of big boys don’t cry. Know what I mean? Can you see how no one really cares or offers them compassion for their plight? Compassion and Choice.

 

women-onlyLook at men’s clubs and men’s spaces that have been traditional places for men to gather. Gone. They have been opened to women and not replaced with anything that would give men a safe place to simply gather with other men. Men gathering became the enemy with the accusation of secret deals that would keep women out of business dealings. At the same time all women’s clubs have soared. Women only gyms, women only parking places, women only subway cars, women only everything….but no comparable opportunities for men. There are even groups that keep track of all of the groups for women. One is The National Association of Commissions for Women  which keeps track of the literally hundreds of commissions for women. That is gynocentrism 2.0 on steroids.

Instead of thinking of choice for men, the majority of our gynocentric culture are thinking instead the word “should.” Men should do this, men should do that and if they don’t, they are not really men. Most men are caught in this drama that researchers are calling “precarious manhood” where men are forced to prove their worth repeatedly in order to be called men. Women do not face a similar situation.

Professions are not immune to Gynocentrism. The profession of social work is a prime example. This group is focused on women and ignores the needs and the hardships of men. Their educational system offers classes on just about every possible client to work with including women, gays, handicapped, children but fails to teach their charges even the first thing about men and boys. This even though men and boys make up a good portion of the clientele they will be working with.

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Our focus thus far has been on gynocentrism on the macro level.  It is very easy to see the gynocentric imbalance in so many spheres. The point here is not that the services that have been created were not a good thing, or were undeserved. Many of the services offered have been very helpful to women and girls. The point here is that it has been a very one sided ride with nearly all the services going to women and girls, and the men and boys basically ignored. Men and boys have simply not gotten compassion and choice. Gynocentrism 2.0.

But let’s take a quick look at the impact of gynocentrism on a micro level. We have seen so far that the public has very little interest in men’s emotions. While that is surely true on a macro level it is also the case on the micro. What is the tired and hackneyed message that the some women offer her man? Oh, they say “You are not dealing with your feelings.”   I hope you can see now that this sort of shaming is really an excuse to NOT deal with his emotions.   Much has been written by gynocentric types about men’s not emoting in public, or men not emoting like women, while maintaining the underlying assumption that there must be something wrong with them. But almost nothing has been written about the brick wall men face when they do emote. When men have emotions people disappear. No one wants to hear it.

What I have seen repeatedly is that men have very different ways to process emotions. Ways that are invisible to most. They have likely developed these different ways due to the prevalence of gynocentrism and are happy with their paths to work with their own emotions and gladly take care of things on their own without fanfare and “help.” The saddest part of this is that most women simply do not see his different ways and assume he is “doing it wrong” since it isn’t like what she does.

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Conclusion

Gynocentrism creates a cultural default both on a micro and macro level where women’s distress is a call to action and a man’s distress is seen at best as a distraction and at worst a taboo. This leaves men being offered considerably less compassion and fewer choices.  In the past 50 years the original gynocentric defaults have morphed into gynocentrism 2.0 which has seen a huge increase in both the lop-sided services favoring women and the disdain and blame focused on men.

Very few people are conscious of this habitual default, they simply assume it is just the way the world works.

Becoming more and more aware of gynocentrism makes it easier to see why men are 80% of the completed suicides but are basically ignored.  It makes sense now that men are nearly 50% of the victims of domestic violence but are routinely disregarded. It makes sense now why boys genital mutilation is the fourth most popular surgical procedure in the U.S. even though it is unnecessary and highly damaging.  The world is geared to have compassion for women’s needs but not as much for the needs of men. We could go on and on about each of the many men’s issues and see  how the lack of compassion and choice plays a part in their dilemma.

The unconscious nature of gynocentrism may be its most ruinous aspect.  People are simply unaware of the great differences in the way men and women are treated.  It is in some ways reminiscent of the racism I remember in the mid 20th century.  People were simply unaware of their treatment of blacks.  There were surely outright bigots at the time but the majority of people were basically asleep to the impact of their attitudes and behaviors and went along with the status quo that treated blacks and whites in significantly different ways.  The general public was duped by a media that portrayed blacks as inferior and an educational system and even academic research that did the same. With gynocentrism 2.0 we are seeing something very similar but instead of the blacks it is now our men.  Today’s gynocentrism is made up primarily of people who are basically unaware of the impact of their behaviors and are simply going along with the gynocentric status quo.

It’s time to wake up.

Knowing these things and taking the red pill* makes it important for us to start offering men and boys greater compassion and choice.

 

And let’s not forget.  Men Are Good!

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*Having taken the “Red Pill” is the popular phrase used to denote someone who can see the gynocentrism clearly.

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Suicide and Men: Part One, Why are men so much more likely to complete suicide?

Men commit suicide four times as often as women and no one knows why. This has been going on for many years. The chart below shows this ratio as being stable from 1950 to 2014 so that tells us that the ratio is not due to some recent shift in our cultural values or due to the economy or some other external source. (blue line is males, black line females, US suicides per 100,000) There are other stats that show that even in the 19th century this ratio seems to hold up. But why?

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Let’s take a male friendly look into the possible reasons for this.

First we need to look at the standard manner of dismissing such a huge difference. So many people, including people in our educational systems, suicide prevention organizations and even researchers make the claim that men commit suicide more often due to their choice of lethal means. They point out that 25,926 males used lethal means to kill themselves  in the United States in 2012 and only 2,818 females used the same lethal means. Most listen and then nod in agreement at how many men use lethal means and how few women, assuming this must be why men suicide more often than women. Then it is pointed out that many more males than females commit suicide so it is more accurate to compare the percentage of male and female suicides that use lethal means. Have a look at this chart and notice that men chose the lethal means of hanging or firearms in about 81.6% of their completed suicides. But also notice that women chose those same lethal means in 54.7% of their completed suicides.   Those two numbers are not that far apart. Yes, this is probably a part of the reason for men to complete suicide more often than women but it in no way explains the mammoth four to one ratio that has held for years. Something else is obviously happening.

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Most people are not even concerned about this difference. If you look at the suicide prevention web sites you will notice that this problem is rarely discussed on the first page and all too often not even on later pages. They usually fail to tell their readers that the largest risk factor for suicide is being male. This is such an important piece of data it is hard to believe that they routinely omit it but they do. Even government reports on suicide, college classes, media stories, suicide conferences and many others tend to fail in alerting people to this problem. People are simply not interested. Even researchers lack interest. Just try and find research studies that look into the reasons for this difference. You probably won’t find much.

There is one man, a psychologist, Thomas Joiner, who has theorized about this difference. Joiner points out a possible contributing factor for the 4 to 1 ratio is that men are more fearless and this fearlessness allows them the courage to end their own lives. A very interesting and at least partially true idea but again, it would be difficult to explain such a huge difference by one psychological trait. I think Joiner is on to something but I think it is just a part of the puzzle.

Let’s turn to some other ideas that might relate to our understanding why boys and men are so much more likely to complete suicide. Let’s first look at cultural messages.

CULTURE

It starts early. Little boys are told that BIG BOYS DON’T CRY. Most of us shudder at the thought that this clearly tells boys they need to stuff their feelings but there is an even more pernicious aspect to this. When an adult tells a little boy that big boys don’t cry they are indeed telling him to stuff his feelings but they are also telling him something else. They are telling him that when he does feel hurt and in need of support that they, the adult offering this idea, will not be there to help and offer compassion. So the message is two fold. First it tells the boys to stuff it and second it alerts him that when he is feeling hurt he should not expect support or compassion. He watches as his sisters get what he lacks.

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With this default it is simple to see that he will be unlikely to seek help when he has been taught for years that no support will be there when he is in need.

Much has been said about men being reluctant to express emotions but what has not been pointed out is that no one really wants to hear men’s emotions. How about you? When was the last time you offered to listen to a man who was emoting? Most of us have to answer that we haven’t done that for a very long time or possibly ever. A man’s emotional pain is generally seen as taboo, something that people want to avoid.  You can contrast this with the way people see women’s emotional pain and you see that women’s pain is seen as a call to action. When women have tears people scurry to help, when men have tears people simply scurry away.

But that’s far from all our culture does to boys and men. As boys get older the culture refuses to accept any signs of dependency.   Men, and sometimes older boys must appear to have things covered by themselves, to appear independent, and when they don’t, guess what happens? They are shamed as not being real men. A man named Peter Marin wrote an excellent article on homelessness and explained this very dynamic. Here’s what he said:

“To put it simply: men are neither supposed nor allowed to be dependent. They are expected to take care of others and themselves. And when they cannot or will not do it, then the assumption at the heart of the culture is that they are somehow less than men and therefore unworthy of help. An irony asserts itself: by being in need of help, men forfeit the right to it.

Exactly. A man’s choice is to appear independent or face being judged as not being a real man. The hallmark of a suicidal person is to feel hopeless and helpless. So the man who feels hopeless and helpless also knows that if he exposes this he will be judged as not being a real man. This is a very tough double bind that men face. If I do open up about my helplessness and hopelessness I will be judged harshly, if I don’t open up I am totally on my own. Most men choose to be on their own.  Can you blame them?

This is just one facet of what scientists have named “precarious manhood.” They have shown that around the world men and young men are expected to prove their manhood repeatedly in order to be considered men. Men are under constant surveillance to appear independent and if they fail to appear independent they pay a severe price in being devalued and judged as not being “real” men. Women face nothing similar. When girls reach physical maturity they are considered women, not so for the boys.

Men intuitively understand the above. They live it on a daily basis. However, women are not under similar pressures and don’t realize the hardships men face. Too many times women simply expect men to be more like them. I often see it in the couples therapy I do. The women expect their men to talk openly about their vulnerabilities, their feelings, and their need for help.   This of course flies in the face of his certainty that his neediness and feelings will do nothing but harm to him and expose his dependence. He has a natural and learned tendency to do his best to appear independent and he comes by it honestly. For us to suddenly expect him to do a complete 180 degree change and appear needy is a bizarre and unreasonable expectation.

These two elements, not expecting any help to be available and routinely being shamed for any sign of dependence have a cumulative impact on men. When they do feel hopeless and helpless it is easy to see now why he would be less likely to open up about this to anyone.

RESEARCH

Let’s turn to the research and see if there are studies that help us understand why men would be so much more likely to complete suicide.

The work of Shelly Taylor is a good example of research that helps us in understanding this problem. Taylor realized in the early 2000’s that nearly all of the research on stress had been done only on male subjects. Women had been left out.  What we know about fight and flight surely applies to men. Taylor proceeded to only study women under stress. She wondered if women might have different strategies. She found that women, unlike men, would be much more likely to “tend and befriend.” That is, women were more likely to move towards interaction when stressed, to move towards other people. A sharp contrast to the male tendency of fight and flight that moves men either into action or inaction. So think about it. Can you see how the female nature of moving towards others when stressed will make it much more likely that she will interact with a person who will realize her distress and then push her to seek services? Notice also that the male tendency to move to action or inaction under stress takes him away from concerned others. Indeed action and inaction are very powerful forms of healing (for more info see The Way Men Heal) but they do leave men more on their own to heal and a very powerful depression is a very difficult thing to heal by ourselves. The more feminine interactive modes are more likely to open avenues of loving others challenging our shame, guilt, and self deprecation. Healing with action and inaction will often lack this outer challenge from someone we love and this leaves men more at risk to persistent negative thoughts, shame, and guilt. His pain is less visible to others and this is dangerous in a powerful depression.

I hope you are seeing that men are taught to keep their emotions to themselves, that their emotional pain is not something that others want to hear, and that it is not something that does them much good if expressed. Rather, they see that if expressed they run into a wall of shame and judgment. It is a short step to now realize that for these reasons he is much less likely to seek “help.” First he knows it is likely not there for him but second he also knows that it’s a trap, if he does show his vulnerability he is toast.

BIOLOGY

Then there is the biological aspect to this. Men get 10 times more testosterone than women and we are now learning some fascinating things about testosterone. For years scientists have been  unsuccessful in trying to connect testosterone with aggression. With improved research techniques they now know that rather than being related to aggression , testosterone pushes men to strive for status and to protect that status once gained. Men and to a lesser degree boys, are built to strive for status. Wanting to succeed, wanting to win, wanting to be good at something and working towards that are all now known to be related to testosterone. It’s easy to see how winning and succeeding are important to men and boys and also are the antithesis of dependency. When we win we are far from dependent. Boys and men are not only socially conditioned to be independent they are pushed in the same direction by their biology. Independence equals success, dependence equals failure.

Another impact of testosterone that has been verified recently is that it reduces fear and increases willingness to take risks. This adds some strength to Joiner’s ideas about fearlessness.

If you look at the factors we are discussing separately they don’t make much sense. Why push boys to not cry? Why try and win all the time? Why does precarious manhood push men to repeatedly prove their manhood? Why would testosterone push men to strive for status and take risks? Each by itself doesn’t make much sense. But if you look at them working together it begins to add up. All of these things are helping men in what is being called the masculine hierarchy. Big Horn Sheep butt heads to determine which male will have access to the top rated females, right? What scientists are now finding is that human males also live in a hierarchy. And, like the sheep, the bottom line of the hierarchy is reproductive access. Precarious manhood, testosterone, the desire to win and not be seen as dependent are all factors in moving upwards in the male hierarchy. None of this really makes much sense until you realize that women really, really, like high status.   Men of high status, like millionaires, Senators, professional sports players, famous musicians all have a much better chance of attracting women than most guys on the street. These men are high in the male hierarchy. All men know this and will work hard to be as high in the hierarchy as he can, knowing that higher status means a better chance of success with very attractive women.

So really, the parents discouraging their sons from crying in public is done not as a crazy and inexplicable act but as a way to help him be higher in the hierarchy. They want their son to succeed. Same with precarious manhood. The pushing of males to repeatedly prove their worth is just another way to push him higher in the hierarchy. Testosterone does something similar when it pushes men and boys to strive for status.  It is this striving for status that has literally built much of modernity.  It is nothing to sneeze at.

Men live in this hierarchy each day, in fact, their lives are surrounded by hierarchy. What are men’s favorite sections of the newspaper? Sports and business rightchart-594212_1280? What do those have in common? Hierarchy after hierarchy. Things are broken down to who is first, second, third and on and on. IBM stock up today, DOW up but the NASDAQ down at the close of trading. RBI’s, batting averages, quarterback ratings and a host of sports stats are the domain and love of many men. Think hierarchy. Many men enjoy this and women are often perplexed.

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The hierarchy is what it is, but it does have some lethal effects when it comes to suicide. Men will strive to stay up in the hierarchy as high as they can. But this means putting on your best face whenever possible, putting your best foot forward. In order to maintain your place in the hierarchy you don’t want to share your failures, your dependencies, or your depression. This puts men into a very dangerous place. Their lives have often been filled with striving for status and trying to put a successful face on for the public.

Women often do not understand this. They think that he should just get over it and start talking about stuff. But wait a minute. Women have a similar hierarchy. It’s called attractiveness. Women do their best to put their best foot forward when it comes to their appearance. While men’s hierarchical involvement is more global and touches nearly every sphere of his life, a woman’s hierarchy is more limited to attractiveness.  Just as status is one of a man’s tickets to reproductive success, the same is true for women and attractiveness. And most women work hard at this.  Just a quick look at the 64 billion dollar cosmetic industry should give you a sense of how important this is. Just for reference, the NFL, MLB and the NBA bring in a combined revenue of about 26 billion dollars. That’s less than half of the cosmetics. So women work hard to stay as near the top of their hierarchy as possible and they spend quite a bit to do so. Have you ever heard of a women refusing to leave the house without her makeup? Can you see how this is similar to the men? She wants to put her best foot forward and be able to mask her imperfections just like the men.

The difference is that women’s decisions to not go out without their makeup tends to have much less severe consequences than a man’s reticence over his depression.   Depression is seen as failure, a status dropping weight that needs to be fixed privately and he is all too often left alone in the weight of his troubles.

Devaluing Men

There is one more factor that is rarely discussed that I think we need to at least mention. The devaluation of men and boys.

China is one of the only countries in the world where women commit suicide more than men. The chart below shows three western countries and then China. Notice that all of the western countries appear to have men outnumbering women. China however flips that and shows that female suicide in China actually outnumbers males. Why would this be? Why would almost every other country show men to outnumber women in suicides but China has more female suicides?

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Most of the theorists point towards China’s devaluation of women as being the cause. They say that women in China are seen as inferior, boy babies are preferred to the point of aborting girl babies in order to have a male. Valuing males over females say the theorists, must create an environment where the females are more likely to take their own lives. I tend to think that their assessment is at least partly correct. But what does that tell us about our own country?  I think a case can be made that in our country it is the men who are devalued, men are seen as inferior and this devaluation impacts men and boys in the US in the same way theorists are positing it impacts girls and women in China. Just look at how easy it is to bash men.  Imagine yourself in public commenting that men are jerks.  What response would that bring? I have seen this often and no one bats an eye. Most people will just nod.  But now think what would happen if you proclaimed that women were jerks.  I have seen this one too and can tell you what I have seen is people immediately defending women and castigating you for saying such a thing. This is a huge and unrecognized double standard.   It’s not uncommon for people to laugh at men, for men to be forgotten when it comes to their emotional pain, for men to be devalued and used as cannon fodder, to die on the battlefield (97% male deaths), and in dangerous jobs (93% male deaths). Could it be that this devaluation of men and boys plays a role in their greater numbers of suicides? I am guessing yes.

CONCLUSION

I hope you are starting to get a sense of why men might commit suicide more often than women. Let’s list the factors we have discussed:

  1. Choice of more lethal means of suicide.
  2. Joiner’s ideas of fearlessness
  3. Big boys don’t cry and knowing there is no support
  4. Disallowing dependency in men
  5. Precarious Manhood (facing lifelong judgment about his manhood)
  6. Testosterone and its encouraging striving for status, limiting fear, and increasing tolerance of risk
  7. Hierarchical nature of men
  8. The devaluation of men and boys

Men, due to both biological and social factors are less likely to seek out “help” when they are depressed whether it’s a professional helping connection or a personal one. A great deal of the psychological community views this male tendency to avoid therapy and “help” as being pathological. I am hoping that from reading this article you will be able to see that it is more a natural consequence of the man’s nature, his hormones, and his environment. Our task is to find therapeutic interventions that will work with men. They will likely be starkly different from the traditional modes we now use. Our present therapeutic industry is built for women and their “tend and befriend” styles of healing and their face to face talking and emoting. This works great for most women and some men but it fails miserably for many men and some women. Therapy is not built for men and tends to miss the mark.

If we want to be of service to men we will need to change our ideas about healing and our modes of intervention. Part two will focus on ideas about healing strategies that might be more useful in helping men.

 

 

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